Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Britain: A senior rabbi has been filmed telling a victim of child sexual abuse not to go to the police
Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, who is leader of the Strictly Orthodox Jewish community in Britain, told the victim that it was “mesira”, or forbidden, to report a suspected Jewish sex offender to a non-Jewish authority. Strictly Orthodox Jewish people, known as Charedi, number 40,000 people, around a sixth of the Jewish population in Britain. Rabbi Padwa, who is head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations in Stamford Hill, north London, was recorded by a former member of the tight-knit community using a hidden camera. The footage shows the victim telling Rabbi Padwa about someone “who sexually abused me when I was younger, when I was a child and I’m looking for your advice, to be honest, what to do…Would do you think maybe, is it a good idea to speak to the police about it?” "Oh no," Padwa answers, explaining that doing so would breach Rabbinic Law. The victim says that child sex abuse is a “very serious issue”, but is told not to tell the police. Rabbi Padwa adds: “Men Tur Nisht,” which is Yiddish for “people must not tell tales.” He continues: “The police is not the solution.” Another Charedi Rabbi claims that Rabbi Ephraim Padwa recently forbade a father who had told the police that his son had been sexually abused from pursuing the case. The man taped speaking to Rabbi Padwa agreed to help investigate possible sex abuse cover-ups after claiming that he was abused as a child by a fellow Charedi.